Is there a role for insulin-like growth factor inhibition in the treatment of COVID-19-related adult respiratory distress syndrome?

Bryan J Winn
Medical Hypotheses 2020 August 7, 144: 110167
Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the leading cause of death associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. IGF-1 has been implicated in ARDS, yet its role in relation to COVID-19-related lung injury has not been investigated. We hypothesize that blockage of the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) mitigates lung injury and decreases the risk of death in patients COVID-19-related ARDS. Patients with fibroproliferative ARDS have been shown to have increased IGF-1 and IGF-1R staining in lung tissue specimens. Rising levels of IGF-1 in bronchioalveolar fluid (BAL) and increased IGF-1 mRNA expression in lung tissues (but declining serum IGF-1 levels) have been found in late stage ARDS compared with early lung injury. Blockage of IGF-1R decreases lung tissue damage and increases survival in bleomycin-induced as well as H1N1 influenza-related lung injury in animal models. Teprotumumab is a monoclonal antibody directed against the IGF-1R that was FDA-approved in 2020 for the treatment of Graves' orbitopathy. In order to determine if teprotumumab may reduce lung injury and death related to ARDS in the setting of COVID-19, preliminary clinical data is needed. IGF-1 levels in serum and BAL fluid must be measured in patients with COVID-19-related ARDS. Histopathology from lung samples from patients with COVID-19-related ARDS must be examined for increased expression of the IGF-1R. Once these are ascertained, and if the data support IGF-1 involvement, a randomized, placebo-controlled phase 2A trial of teprotumumab therapy in the setting of COVID-19-related ARDS and non-COVID-19-related ARDS designed to generate initial data on short-term efficacy, safety, dosing and administration should be performed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"